Canadian flight paramedic Alex “Sandy” MacQuarrie used a distance MBA from Charles Sturt University to open the door to a range of exciting career opportunities that built on his medical background.
Sandy was Chief Flight Paramedic at Canadian Helicopters where he managed seven air ambulance bases and 110 clinical staff, but found that despite his success as a paramedic, there were gaps in his skill set for his new role.
“One of the reasons why I thought it would be good for me to go back to school, to CSU, was to enhance a portion of my background that I felt didn’t have enough in it,” Sandy said.
“I was working as a flight paramedic but there was a business side to the operation and I was tasked with business reporting and found that I didn’t have the requisite knowledge that I needed to really understand what I was doing.”
Like many middle managers, Sandy had been extensively trained in the technical skills of his profession, but other management skills had been neglected.
“I’ve been in emergency services almost 22 years, and I’ve found that on the clinical side there’s lots of supports within the systems that I was working,” he said.
“However, when you want to progress past that point into management or into education, those weren’t necessarily there.”
“So having the ability to take an MBA online really helped me both seek out and get rewarding opportunities in management and in senior management in both of those areas. Having an MBA has helped my career progression.”
After completing his MBA and being promoted to further senior management positions, Sandy has increasingly focused on providing education and working to help paramedicine mature as a profession. This has led him to undertake a PhD in Paramedic Job Performance at Charles Sturt, where he currently works as a lecturer in the Paramedic Program.